King salmon fishing heats up; blues active in the salt
Western New York
Lake Erie and tributaries: Bass fishing continues to be hot all
around the shoreline in 25 to 45 feet of water on tubes or live
bait like shiners and crayfish. Walleye action continues to be
consistent off Dunkirk (60-80 feet down over 90 feet of water);
Barcelona (65-85 feet down over 70-125 feet of water); or Sturgeon
Point (60-plus feet of water near the bottom). Worm harnesses or
stick baits are the best baits right now.
Upper Niagara River: Muskie fishermen were still working the waters
around Strawberry Island, Thompson’s Hole and near the Huntley
Plant. Bass are hitting minnows and crayfish; one good spot was
around Staley’s Reef.
Chautauqua Lake: Muskie are still being caught by trollers working
the outside weed edges in the northern basin of the lake from the
Bell Tower to the Prendergast hatchery. Those same weed edges are
also producing some largemouth bass, as well as in the pockets in
the weeds themselves. Smallmouth bass can be found a little deeper
off those same weedlines with live bait like minnows and crayfish.
Perch are hitting minnows and worms around the lake, especially
around the Bemus Point area.
Lake Ontario and tributaries: Some of the bigger kings have moved
into the 70- to 100-foot range first thing in the morning,
according to Wes Walker at The Sinker, while deep water trolling
for salmon and steelhead continued to be productive 8-10 miles out.
The Niagara Bar is producing fish, too. Out of the Oak, Capt. Mike
Waterhouse sends word that action is still good out deep there,
too, targeting the water column 60-95 feet down with a mix of
spoons and flasher-fly combos. In Wilson and Olcott, bass and pike
are being reported off the piers; rock bass and pike are hitting at
Burt Dam; crappie are hitting at night in Wilson Harbor on
Lower Niagara River: Some nice walleye and bass have been reported
from the lower river on a mix of live bait and crayfish.
Central New York
Lake Ontario: Salmon fishing is really starting to turn on. The
area from Oswego to Port Ontario has been good in 70-120 feet of
water. Good numbers of 25- to 30-pound fish are being reported.
Brown trout fishing also continues to be good. Smallmouth bass are
still being caught around Mexico point on crayfish and
Oneida Lake: Walleye fishing has picked up some, with good action
at Shackelton Shoals, Dutchman’s Bar and Lewis Point. Largemouth
bass are hitting creature baits fished in and around the deep weed
Oswego River: Bass are biting on minnows and crankbaits.
Salmon River: There are a few brown trout and Atlantic salmon being
taken in the river; no kings to report yet.
Sodus Bay: Largemouth bass were hitting on spinnerbaits, crankbaits
and rubber worms fished in the deeper water.
Sandy Pond: Some largemouth bass and northern pike action is still
taking place along the outside weed edges. Spinnerbaits, rubber
worms and crankbaits are working.
Irondequoit Bay: Largemouth bass fishing continued to be good, with
fish being found deeper in 15-20 feet of water. Spinnerbaits,
crankbaits and rubber worms are still working. Large bluegills are
hitting jigs and worms fished around the sunken island in 8-10 feet
Finger Lakes/Southern Tier
Honeoye Lake: During the day, most anglers have been catching a
mixed bag of fish – from smallmouth bass to panfish like bluegills
and sunfish. Some perch are also being reported. Bass and the
occasional walleye have been hitting jigs tipped with a night
crawler or leech.
Conesus Lake: The hot action has been for smallmouth bass in
30-plus feet of water. Use crayfish on the bottom.
Seneca Lake: Atlantic salmon are hitting Big Weenie flies down 55
feet over very deep water – like 500 feet. Lake trout are being
taken 75-120 feet down by anglers trolling spoons and flasher and
fly rigs. A few northern pike are being taken off the pier in
Keuka Lake: Lake trout are being taken by anglers vertical jigging
in 95-110 feet of water. Trout are also being taken by anglers
trolling spoons and flasher and fly rigs down 100-120 feet over 150
feet of water. Bass are being caught in 30 feet of water on
plastics and live bait.
Canandaigua Lake: Lake trout are being caught down 75-150 feet of
water with flashers and flies and spoons working best.
Cayuga Lake: Lake trout are being caught in 75-110 feet of water by
anglers vertical jigging with plastics. Some nice brown trout,
rainbow trout and keeper-sized Atlantic salmon are also being taken
just above the lake trout, down 50-70 feet.
Owasco Lake: Anglers trolling 50-120 feet down with spoons or
flasher and fly rigs are still catching some lake trout and an
occasional rainbow. They’re also catching a few lake trout vertical
jigging. Smallmouth bass are hitting in 10-20 feet of water on
drop-shot rigs with Berkley Gulp! baits.
Otisco Lake: Tiger muskie fishing is really starting to pick up,
with tigers being caught on almost anything from night crawlers to
swim baits. Smallmouth bass are being taken in 15-25 feet of water
on drop-shot rigs, with darker colored baits working well.
Largemouth bass can be found on the outside weed edges. A few
walleye are being taken by anglers trolling 35 feet down with stick
Skaneateles Lake: Anglers fishing near shore with tube jigs,
drop-shot rigs and are catching smallmouths.
Waneta and Lamoka lakes: Largemouth and smallmouth bass fishing has
been good in 8-10 feet of water for anglers using bass minnows.
Top-water baits are also working well early and late in the day.
Muskellunge are being caught on large perch-colored crankbaits or
stick baits cast or trolled in 8-20 feet of water. Yellow perch are
hitting on crayfish fished in 10 feet of water.
Whitney Point Reservoir: Walleye fishing has slowed but some fish
are being taken in the deeper water on worm harnesses and jigs
tipped with night crawlers.
Susquehanna, Chenango, Tioughnioga and Unadilla rivers:
Dark-colored tube jigs, like green pumpkin, are still working well
for smallmouth bass. Gold Mepps spinners are also working for the
smallmouth bass. Walleye fishing has been slow.
Lake Champlain top-water bass action should be good in the mornings
and evenings, particularly when there’s a light chop on the
surface. If they’re not on top, drag tubes at 25-35 feet for
smallmouths. Heavy rains last month blew out some trout streams,
but not for long, and water temps are now much improved.
Overall, the fishing remained excellent, with many anglers
targeting multiple species during each trip, such as switching over
to porgies and sea bass after limiting out on fluke, or jigging and
casting for schooled bluefish over the artificial reefs and hard
spots while porgy and sea bass fishing. Offshore anglers were often
running a combo trip, trolling tuna in the morning and late
afternoon and sharking during the middle of the day.
The bluefish action improved in the South Shore bays and inlets and
in the North Shore harbors, with blues in the 3- to 6-pound range
attacking baits meant for fluke and stripers, as well as attacking
poppers and tins on the surface. Larger blues were caught in Plum
Gut, the Race, and in Pigeon’s Rip on bucktails tied on a three-way
rig, off Montauk Point on trolled tubes and diamond jigs, and in
the Middle Grounds and mid-Sound reefs on bunker and mackerel
chunks and jigs. A few bonito were mixed in with the blues. Adult
bunker have shown up in the eastern Sound harbors, with big blues
and the occasional striper under them.
Bluefish showed up in greater numbers on the North Shore east end
beaches, around Montauk Point, the South Shore open beaches, and
off Staten Island. The best fishing occurred during the early
mornings and afternoon on tins and poppers and sand eel pattern
flies. The midday action was on fresh bunker chunks. Northern
kingfish were caught on the open sandy beaches on sandworms. The
surf fishing for porgies slowed as the fish moved to deeper water,
but good action was found off Horton’s Point. The surf fishing for
stripers improved, with needlefish and darters fished during the
night tides best. Surfcasters fishing bunker chunks from Fire
Island inlet to Rockaway Inlet have caught brown sharks around 40
pounds. Triggerfish were caught off the jetty rocks on both shores
using worms and squid strips. Boaters are catching triggers around
the inlet buoy chains.
The best striper action was reported off Montauk Point, with mostly
bass in the 20- to 30-pound class caught on tubes and parachute
rigs trolled in the rips, and plenty of large bluefish in the mix.
Schoolie stripers were caught clam chumming and chunking the South
Shore Inlets, but the majority of the catch has switched to
bluefish. Stripers were reported in Mt. Sinai Harbor.
Porgies and sea bass have moved into deeper water, with excellent
action reported in Noyac Bay, east of Gardiner’s Island, east of
the Ruins, off Crane’s Neck, around Rodger’s Rock, and the south
side of Montauk Point and Block Island.
A few weakfish to 3½ pounds were caught drifting sandworms inside
at Fire Island Light and in Gardiner’s Bay. Northern kingfish were
mixed in with the weakfish.
Hammerhead, brown and a few blue sharks were caught 12-20 miles
south/southeast of Montauk Point. Shark trips between the 15 fathom
line and the 30 fathom line have yielded makos between 50 and 150
pounds, with an occasional thresher in the 400-pound class and
hammerheads between 150-200 pounds. Mahi are common in the shark
Captain Gene Kelly of Tropical Fishing Adventures reported that the
bluefin tuna bite has slowed off Montauk Point, with the best
action reported south of the Coimbra on jigs worked over schools of
sand eels. Bluefin were also jigged and trolled in the Compass
Rose. Out on the Edge there are some yellowfin, longfin and an
unusual amount of white marlin, but the bite has been very
inconsistent. Yellowfin in the 60-pound class and longfin to 40
pounds were trolled and chunked at the Dip, Block Canyon, Hudson
Canyon, West Atlantis, the Fishtails and in the surrounding flats.
The largest tuna were taken on the chunk. White and blue marlin
were caught trolling spreader bars and rigged ballyhoo in the same
Along the South Shore, keeper fluke were caught in 70-90 feet of
water under schools of squid in the Tin Can Grounds and around the
Verrazano Bridge on large bucktails, large spearing with squid
strips, and large strip baits. The fluking in the South Shore bays
provided plenty of action, with most fish being shorts. Keepers
were caught in the inlet mouths on live snappers. Off Montauk
Point, the fluke fishing was excellent along the south side, with
keepers averaging between 5 and 9 pounds. Along the North Shore,
fluke were reported from Callahan’s to Sunken Meadow, the Smithtown
Reef and off Old Field Point.
Snappers are averaging 8 inches long, with a few in the 12-inch
range caught everywhere on small tins, snapper poppers, spearing,
and small plastic grubs. The blue claw crab fishing was excellent
throughout the area. The best action for both species was during
The warm water temps have slowed the freshwater fishing, with the
Peconic River system yielding the best catches. Largemouth bass,
pickerel, large bluegills, and crappies fell to live minnows. Carp
to 20 pounds were reported in many of the local ponds and
Ron Nadler at Fish307 reports smallmouth action on Lake George
remained very good in 25-30 feet of water, while lake trout are
beginning their ascent higher into the water column and are now at
about 60-80 feet over 120 feet of water. A few landlocks were being
caught at 42 feet. Hudson River action has been slow, with a few
bass being caught, while largemouth bass were cooperating on
Saratoga Lake, as well as a few pike and, if you can find them,
Southeastern New York
John Miller at Bob’s Sport and Tackle says fishing has held up well
during the dog days of summer, with bass action good on Muscoot,
Croton, Croton Falls and Amawalk reservoirs. Brown trout were still
being caught at Croton Falls and West Branch reservoirs, while
lakers were cooperating at Kensico Reservoir.
Heading toward fall conditions on most streams, which means
temperatures more conducive to good fishing. Olives, caddis and
isonychias should be about, and terrestrials remain a good choice,
as do nymphs when the fish aren’t rising. Fishing can be
challenging, however, since the trout have seen a lot of flies all
St. Lawrence River: Smallmouth were being taken on crayfish in
35-45 feet of water, while northerns were cooperating in weedy
areas. Perch fishing has been good in some areas of the river,
notably Mud Bay.
Black Lake: Not a lot new to report, with bass – both smallmouths
and largemouth – offering the best action. Northerns are usually
pretty cooperative, as well.